Negative Self-Injury Beliefs to Let Go of Starting Now
Self-harm isn't just about physical pain—it can be deeply intertwined with invisible emotional pain as well. If the self-injury beliefs that you are holding onto are holding you back from healing, it's time to let them go.
Negative Self-Injury Beliefs Make Recovery More Difficult
Different cultures have different beliefs around self-injury—what is and isn't self-harm, what its purpose is, and how it should be regarded. This post, however, is not about cultural beliefs—instead, we're talking about personal beliefs. These come from your own individual experiences, thought patterns, and natural inclinations.
In my experience, negative self-injury beliefs play a huge role in keeping us stuck in the vicious cycle of hurting ourselves to feel better. These beliefs may include thoughts like the following:
- "I deserve this punishment."
- "This is the only way I can feel/feel better."
- "It's better this way."
- "Nobody would understand if I told them."
- "This will make me stronger."
- "I'm too weak/too scared/too far gone to recover."
- "I will never get better."
These beliefs are links in a chain that keep you thinking that self-harm is the only way out of what you're going through. The more of them you have, and the more often you have them, the heavier that chain may feel. But no matter how heavy it gets, it can be broken.
That is the first and most important self-injury belief that you do need to hold onto: recovery is always possible. And it is.
Positive Self-Injury Beliefs to Hold Onto Instead
For me, a lot of my recovery process hinged on my efforts to break out of negative thought patterns and intrusive thoughts and replace them with a healthier, more balanced perspective. Positive self-talk can be a powerful tool for recovery, although it is important to keep your beliefs grounded in reality as well to avoid inevitable disappointment.
For example, it would not be helpful to adopt the belief that you can recover overnight. It is reasonable, however, to believe that you can begin taking your first steps towards recovery as soon as you are ready to do so.
Some other positive self-injury beliefs that I've found helpful in my own recovery process include:
- "I am not alone in this fight, even if it sometimes feels like I am."
- "I have the power to make the changes I want to make."
- "I am capable of recovery."
- "It's okay to make mistakes, as long as I keep trying."
- "Bad days are a part of the recovery process, not the end of it."
- "It's okay to ask for help when I need it."
It's not necessarily a self-injury belief, but one more thought that I like to hold onto—particularly when times get tough—is a quote from the cult classic film The Crow: "It can't rain all the time."
Even the worst times don't last forever, though it often feels like they will. Clouds eventually part, and the sun always rises again.
Some part of us knows this. The trick is learning to hold onto that part and listen to it, even when you're in the eye of the storm—at least until you can see those first rays of light again.
Kim Berkley (2021, October 14). Negative Self-Injury Beliefs to Let Go of Starting Now, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/10/negative-self-injury-beliefs-to-let-go-of-starting-now